A traveling music and storytelling show is bringing two inspiring Northern women to the stage this week.
Musician and storyteller Leanne Goose will join musician and filmmaker Caroline Cox as headliners of the Ko K’e Music and Spoken Word Festival. The festival will start in Hay River tomorrow, then touch down in Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Inuvik and finally Norman Wells.
The festival aims to tell Northern stories through music, words and other art forms, as well as mark the 150 years of Canada and of colonialism.
Leanne Goose said she is looking forward to touring the North and returning to her hometown Inuvik. A singer-songwriter from the Dene and Inuvialuit communities, Goose plans to tell her story of how she became an artist and how she is now moving from the role of artist to managing other artists professionally.
“I’ve got tons of stories. Lots about my life and how I got started and I think that’s where I’m going to focus,” she said.
With a lot of life experiences to draw from including three albums nominated for multiple awards, producing the End of the Road music festival and serving as executive director of Music NWT, Goose said she will keep things spontaneous. She said she hasn’t planned much in advance and will feed off the energy of the amazing group of women that are part of the traveling festival.
Goose said her heart is with the do-it-yourselfers as she calls them, the artists who are struggling to keep themselves playing and creating. By sharing her own experience she hopes to inspire them.
“I think it’s really important that we as artists share as much as we can about the process. It’s not only just being able to perform,” she said. “I think what we really need to do is focus on the tools and the techniques and all the little things that we’ve done to get to where we are so we can keep propagating a new group of live performing artists.”
Caroline Cox, musician, actor and the creator behind her show Wild Kitchen, will tour the NWT with Goose for the festival. She will perform some of her songs, tell stories and show snippets of her Northern-inspired cooking show.
Much of Cox’s inspiration comes from her life on the Liard River. Before moving off-grid, she had a corporate career in mining and making the shift inspired her to start creating music, acting and filmmaking.
“I’ll take people on a little journey,” she said. “I used to have a corporate job and then I decided to change my whole lifestyle and be more focused on the arts, a really big shift, and that was also when I moved down to that cabin on the Liard River. I talk about what inspired that decision and how it changed the trajectory of my life and where I was going, and being more fulfilled.”
The Ko K’e Music and Spoken Word Festival will start Oct. 10 in Hay River, then tour to Fort Simpson Oct. 12, Fort Smith Oct. 15, Inuvik Oct. 16 and Norman Wells Oct. 18.